Most inspiring breakthroughs and honest, radical discussions
Human Immunome Project
Founding President and CEO
Dr. Wayne C. Koff, is founding President and CEO of the Human Immunome Project (formerly Human Vaccines Project), a non-profit research consortium creating AI models of the human immune system. In 2020, he was appointed Adjunct Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and in 2019 was named by Foreign Policy as one of the 100 Global Thinkers who have had a profound impact on the planet.
Co-founder and CTO
Dr. Irina Borodina is a successful biotech entrepreneur and scientist. She cofounded BioPhero, a biotech startup producing insect pheromones for environmentally friendly pest control, that has been acquired by FMC Corporation in 2022. Dr. Borodina also directs a research group at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), focused on the sustainable production of chemicals using yeast cell factories. .
Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB)
Olivier Rolland, PhD in Chemistry, is Managing Director of TWB (Toulouse White Biotechnology), a world-renowned public-private research platform specialised in scaling industrial biotechnology projects from the lab to the plant. Prior to TWB, he held leading positions in major groups (Boeing, Michelin, Total) and notably worked on scaling fermentation-based biofuel and molecules production.
Vice President, Europe
At Breakthrough Energy, Ann is working with European partners to accelerate clean tech innovation in the pursuit of climate neutrality and a net-zero emissions future. She has more than two decades’ experience in high-level public policy and strategy, operating at the intersection of technology, innovation, foresight and entrepreneurship. Previously, she served as Director-General and Head of the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the European Commission’s in-house think tank, and founded and ran the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based knowledge economy think tank.
MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design
Dr. Angeliki Diane Rigos is a scientist, educator, and consultant interested in working across disciplines to promote sustainable solutions to global problems. She has nearly 40 years of experience as both an academic researcher and an energy specialist consultant. She is Executive Director of the MIT TATA Center for Technology & Design, a pioneering unit that trains and supports MIT researchers working to solve challenges facing communities in India and the developing world.
Executive director in biopolicy and leadership
Dr. Megan J. Palmer is the Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives at Stanford University (Bio-polis). In this role, Dr. Palmer leads integrated research, teaching and engagement programs to explore how biological science and engineering is shaping our societies, and to guide innovation to serve public interests. Based in the Department of Bioengineering, she works closely both with groups across the university and with stakeholders in academia, government, industry and civil society around the world.
Co-founder & Advisor
Andrew Hessel, a pioneer and an expert in the field of synthetic biology, is a co-founder and advisor of Humane Genomics, an early-stage company developing synthetic viruses for canine and human oncology. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology and the Genome Project, the international scientific effort to engineer large genomes, including the human genome. He is a former distinguished research scientist at Autodesk Life Sciences.
Centre for Healthy Longevity, @Age, NUS
Andrea Maier is the Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Longevity at the National University of Singapore as. Her research focuses on unraveling the mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases. She is heading international longitudinal cohort studies and geroscience interventions. During the last 12 years she has published more than 370 peer-reviewed articles, achieving an H index of 68, spearheading the significant contributions of her highly acclaimed innovative, global, multidisciplinary @Age research group. She is a frequent guest on radio and television programs to disseminate aging research and aninvited members of several international academic and health policy committees, including the WHO.
CDR Geochemical Lead
Cara is a manager in the Strategic Analysis and Engagement group, with expertise on the mechanics of different carbon dioxide removal (CDR) pathways and their potential impacts. She has particular expertise in geochemical CDR techniques such as enhanced weathering, ocean alkalinity enhancement, and mineralization.
Cara has a background in particle physics, environmental epidemiology, and exposure science. She has worked in multiple international collaborations on topics ranging from fundamental science to the health impacts of climate change. She is also an On Deck Climate Tech Fellow.
Greg de Temmerman
Greg De Temmerman holds a PhD in experimental physics and has worked for over 15 years in the field of nuclear fusion. Between 2014 and 2020, he was scientific coordinator on the ITER project and he has published more than 230 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In 2020, he became Executive Director of Zenon Research, a non-profit think tank chaired by Jean-Baptiste Rudelle (Criteo) that identifies and analyses the scientific, technological and economic solutions needed for a future compatible with planetary limits. He is also a research associate at Mines-ParisTech PSL.
Co-founder & CEO
Stefano Buono is an accomplished Italian physicist and alumnus of The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Until January 2018, Mr. Buono served as Chief Executive Officer and board member of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), an international radiopharmaceutical company he founded in 2002 and acquired in 2018 by Novartis for $3.9 billion. In 2021, Stefano Buono co-founded and incorporated UK-headquartered nuclear technology company newcleo, of which he is CEO. In 2018 he founded Elysia Capital, focused on social impact investments in the field of Sustainable Innovation, Wellbeing, Education, Art and Culture.
Thomas is the CEO and Co-Founder at Owkin, leading medical research and business intelligence. He is a former Assistant Professor of Clinical Onco-Hematology at Hopital Henri Mondor in Paris. Thomas is also a former member of Ari Melnick’s lab at the Weill Cornell Medical College where he co-led several projects focused on prediction of resistance to chemotherapy in B-cell lymphoma.
Max Plank Institute for Colloid and Interfaces
Director, Sustainable and Bio-inspired Materials Department
Prof Silvia Vignolini is the Director of the Sustainable and Bio-inspired Materials Department at the Max Plank for Colloid and Interfaces in Potsdam and a University Professor in Sustainability and Bio-inspired materials at the Chemistry Department in Cambridge. She studied Physics at the University of Florence, Italy. In 2009, she was awarded a PhD in Solid State Physics at the European Laboratory for non-Linear Spectroscopy and the Physics Department at the University of Florence.
Vaitea Cowan is one of the three cofounders of Enapter. Sebastian, Jan, and Vaitea worked on the Phi Suea House in 2016, which became a lighthouse project for green hydrogen in Southeast Asia. In 2017, they cofounded Enapter on a mission to make green hydrogen affordable and accessible for everyone. They grew the team from 11 to 200 by 2021. Today, Vaitea heads Enapter’s communications and is based in the Berlin office. Vaitea is on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Energy 2020. Among other awards, she supported Enapter in winning the inaugural Earthshot Prize “Fix Our Climate” launched by Prince William and The Royal Foundation. Her personal mission is to bring green hydrogen to the islands and to hire more women along the way.
Mijndert Van der Spek
Mijndert van der Spek is an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University with a track record in process design and optimization of CO2 capture, utilisation, and storage, and direct air capture technologies and systems, using process simulation, techno-economic assessment, life cycle assessment, and advanced uncertainty analysis to inform decision making on the feasibility of technologies and processes. Mijndert has a keen interest in adsorption-based CO2 capture, notably from the air and his team works on understanding the impact of humidity on the adsorption performance of materials and processes. He is the principal or co-investigator on several UK and EU funded research projects, the vice-chair of the EU networking Action TrANsMIT, Associate Editor for the journal Frontiers in Climate and member of the IEAGHG Cost Network where he led activities on new guidelines for technoeconomic assessment.
Co-founder & Executive Chairman
Born in 1972, Poranen is CEO and Co-founder of Spinnova. Poranen looks at the bigger picture for the company. Before spinning the business off from VTT with Salmela, he headed VTT’s Fibers and Bio-based materials research area. He also held other managerial positions in his ten years with the VTT and was a visiting scientist at the University of Maine. Poranen holds a PhD in physics, completed by business and innovation leadership training in IMD Business School. He is a hybrid of scientist, industrial expert and entrepreneur.
Frauke Kracke is Head of Science at Stripe Climate and pushes our scientific thinking on the most innovative technological solutions for permanent removal of atmospheric carbon. She holds a PhD in biotechnology from the University of Queensland.
Ezhil is a scientist, innovator, thinker, hiking enthusiast and a citizen of the world. Ezhil is driven by a passion to leverage the power of biology to deliver sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Her experience in biobased product development over the last 20 years helps her bring deep technical expertise to the work at String. Ezhil’s work was most recently recognized with the Women Transforming India Award 2018 from United Nations/NITI Aayog.
Christopher Wareham received his doctorate from the European School of Molecular Medicine and the University of Milan. He is currently Assistant Professor at the Ethics Institute at Utrecht University and Honorary Associate Professor at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Much of his research focuses on the ethical implications of ageing and life extension. In this research area, he has edited a volume, The Cambridge Handbook of the Ethics of Ageing, published in 2022. He also works on the ethics of emerging biotechnologies, and published work often views them through the lens of African ethical systems.
Thought For Food
Founder & CEO
Christine is a global leader in agri-food-tech innovation, an energizing community-builder & an activator of breakthrough ideas that create lasting change in food and agriculture. As the Founder & CEO of Thought For Food, she galvanized a community of 30,000+ entrepreneurs in 180+ countries who are dedicated to transforming food systems. The programs she has developed have generated 8000+ business ideas and launched 70+ startups.
Co-founder & CEO
Andrew is a biotechnology developer, inventor, and co-founder at E11 Bio, where he brings pioneering experience with emerging spatial and molecular methods, including super-resolution microscopies and spatially resolved approaches to genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. Andrew trained in Engineering Physics at the University of Toronto, and joined Ed Boyden’s group at MIT for his PhD studies to pioneer technologies for neural circuit architecture mapping at the scale of mammalian brains. In his PhD, he developed a disruptive approach to spatially resolved molecular microscopy – a technology whose basic principles are important for brain architecture mapping – scaling from four colors to four billion digital colors over four years (Payne et al, Science 2021). Andrew has authored three peer-reviewed publications, and holds one issued U.S. patent and three patents pending.
Director, Immunology department
Ana-Maria Lennon-Duménil has headed a research laboratory at Institut Curie since 2004.Over the course of her career, she has obtained several honors, including the Thesis Prize of the “French Association for Therapeutic Research” (1998), the Olga Sain Prize of the “League against Cancer” (2009), the Prize Gaston Rousseau of the Académie des Sciences (2012), the INSERM Research Prize (2018). She was elected a member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) in 2018. She received in 2021 the “Grand Prix Charles Defforey” de l’Institut de France. Since April 1st 2021, Ana-Maria Lennon-Duménil is the director of the “Immunity & Cancer Department (Inserm U932)” at the Institut Curie.
Co-founder & CEO
Benjamin Tincq is co-founder of Good Tech Lab, an agency that supports technological and systemic responses to global challenges – restoring climate and ecosystems while delivering progress for all. He is co-author of the report “On the Frontiers of Impact Tech” which analyses 180 areas of technological innovation contributing to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
Benjamin is an engineer by training, and was previously co-founder of a think-tank dedicated to digital social innovation (Ouishare), as well as a consultant in digital strategy and green tech. He has worked with companies such as Vinci, Michelin, MAIF, Autodesk, Castorama, ADEME and the City of Paris.
Vice President of Innovation
Ulrich Betz, Vice President of Innovation at Merck, is responsible for innovation management and strategic academic collaborations at Merck. He is an accomplished R&D manager with >20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, including positions in the President’s Office at Merck Biopharma and positions reporting directly to the Heads of Research and Development at Bayer and Merck. In his current role he designed and implemented for example the Merck Innovation Cup, the Curious2018-Future Insight Conference, the Merck Future Insight Prize, the Darmstadt Science Declaration, the Merck Research Grants and Challenges, the Compound Synthesis Challenge, the Johann Anton Merck Award, the idea competition innospire and the BioMed X Outcubator.
International Finance Corporation
VC, Deep Tech
Lana Graf is an impact investor and principal industry specialist at Disruptive Technologies and Funds dpt. at IFC, a private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where she leads deals in Ai/ML and Deep tech. Lana’s goal at IFC is to help bringing advanced technologies to worldwide clients and emerging markets. World Bank group platform is a perfect fit to help with smart and supported adoption of disruptive technologies, through access to countries, sectors, partners and clients of IFC.
Prior to joining the World Bank, Lana spent over a decade as a corporate executive in the Ai/Robotics and Industrial automation sector.